Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul issued a stern warning to entertainment venues caught lax on age verification during today’s press conference at the Government House.
The warning comes in response to a viral story of a Thai boxing Olympic medallist, Somluck Kamsing, who was accused of attempted rape, in connection with a sexual entanglement with a 17-year-old girl.
The girl in the case reportedly gained access to a nightclub using a picture of a fake ID card and met with Mr. Somluck. She later filed a complaint with police, accusing the former Muay Thai fighter turned boxer, of sexual assault, after Mr. Somluck allegedly took her to a hotel. Mr. Somluck denied all allegations.
Mr. Anutin on December 14th said it is important for nighttime businesses to maintain strict adherence to age verification protocols. He urged venue operators to ensure that patrons don’t use fake ID cards or those belong to their older peers to stealthily enter nightclubs.
“Customers need to show their real ID cards, not photos on their phone,” Mr. Anutin said.
He further warned that circumventing this protocol could lead to serious consequences. “The more you avoid the law, the greater the risk of being searched, arrested, and prosecuted,” he stated.
It’s unclear if this will mean tourists and foreigners will also need to bring their original passport or ID card which, although technically required by law, is in practice rarely enforced, especially in popular tourist zones where many tourists won’t bring out their original passports for fear of losing them.